Survey: Technology Vital to Student Success

Schools are seeing much more positive results from the use of digital tools than even a year ago, according to the annual Speak Up report produced by Project Tomorrow and Blackboard.

According to the newly released "Trends in Digital Learning: Empowering Innovative Classroom Models for Learning," the use of digital content in the classroom increased by 45 percent compared with the same survey a year ago. Likewise, mobile learning through the use of tablets and other devices grew 41 percent compared to last year and 81 percent more students participated in online classes.

Those were some of the highlight results of the annual Speak Up National Research Project which has polled K-12 students, parents and educators every year since 2003.

This year's survey also found that more than 90 percent of K-12 administrators said technology is an important part of achieving their districts' academic goals. Similarly, more than 78 percent of parents said the use of technology would help their children develop the skills they need to succeed in life. Nearly half of students said they were more interested in their classes when they used digital tools.

"This year's survey results show greater adaptation of technology, specifically because all the stakeholders say that appropriate use of technology for learning improves outcomes," said Project Tomorrow CEO Julie Evans. "Students say using technology better engages them in learning. Parents say technology skills are important for preparing their children to be successful in life. Educators see the positive impact of technology in their classrooms."

According to Project Tomorrow, 4,326 administrators, 431,241 students, 35,345 parents and 44,297 teachers participated in the survey that took place late last year. Forty percent of those surveyed were from rural school districts, 30 percent from urban districts and 40 percent from suburban districts.

The report was released during the ISTE 2015 conference held June 28-July 1 in Philadelphia.

About the Author

Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.